“According to the x-ray, you’ve injured your medial collateral ligament (MCL),” the orthopedic specialist diagnosed.
The good news was that my injury could heal without surgery. The hard news was that I would have to wear a hefty, substantial brace on my knee for four weeks. I was so disappointed. Honestly, I limped into his office hoping he would tap my knee, pull my leg, give a little twist, and voila!, I would walk out, limp-less and fully recovered. I guess I really wasn’t thinking logically at all.
Right away, I began to focus on the inconveniences my healing required. Dragging around my right leg meant I could not get anywhere quickly. In fact, that day, I had parked an uncomfortable distance from the orthopedic office door. Close to tears and dragging my braced leg along, the trek back to my car allowed me plenty of time for morose meditation:
Now, I will have to slow down. I will have to sit more. As a writer, I already sit too much. I love going for walks to clear my mind. Walks are out! My workout will be limited! I have to make time to study MCL care. I will have to ask for help to do physical stuff. I hate asking for help. Nobody cleans and puts the room back together like me. I don’t have time for this!
Frustrated with my injury, I essentially did not want to make time for healing. I did not want to prioritize what healing could offer me and what it required of me. But then I remembered I had been here before — at the door of Jehovah-Rapha (the Lord who heals), but refusing to knock, refusing the invitation to slow down, to enter, and to abide in a healing space. I remembered that I had initially resented the need to be healed because I had been embarrassed to need special care. I’d felt useless — as if fostering healing on my behalf was too much to ask.
Then I also remembered how walking in the depths of my infirmity with Jehovah-Rapha had grown, strengthened, and assured me in profound ways. I’d grown to know and embrace God as One who is perpetually healing and restoring. As a finite being, communing with His infinitely reparative nature is necessary so I can fully lean into the hope of wholeness.
With this redirect, I shifted from resentful resistance and surrendered to the invitation to heal. I focused on three lessons that healing had previously taught me:
First, I have been given grace to heal. For Jehovah-Rapha, time and resources are without limits. In Him, I have the space to slow down and sit down. I have an opportunity to grow my patience. I have permission to ask for help and the promise that I will experience help. Reaching beyond my comfort zone of independence to receive assistance is good for my soul, and indulging in the grace to heal forces me to practice vulnerability.
Second, practicing vulnerability necessitates my trust in Jehovah-Rapha that I will be healed. Although the process or the outcome may not look how I imagine it should, I trust that Jehovah is healing. I trust that in my weakness, I am being strengthened in ways I could not be in my own self-sufficiency. I get to discover things about myself that I need to know in order to live more fully in Christ.
Finally, surrendering to healing helps me understand how injury to one part of the body impacts the entire body. An injured knee, for example, throws my whole body off balance. As I nurse my back, hip, and neck, sore from compensating for my injured knee, I express gratitude for all that a whole knee allows me to do.
Let’s be real: Healing is a requirement for living. If we allow, Jehovah-Rapha can be present in our injured bodies, emotions, relationships, communities, and nations. However, healing requires the following of us:
- To know that Jehovah-Rapha has grace us to heal. It’s not helpful for us to bypass injury or injustice in order to get to wholeness.
- To embrace the hard work of healing instead of being afraid of it. The journey toward healing requires us to move outside of our comfort zones.
- To understand that when one part of the body is healed, the whole body benefits. We don’t have to worry that being attentive to one part of the body will detract from the body as a whole. Healing for one can bring healing to many.
So wherever and however you are injured, may you make time for healing. May we make time for healing. Let’s take hold of all that Jehovah-Rapha has for us.Leave a Comment